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What exactly is an Artist Credit?

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What exactly is an Artist Credit?

caller#6
I'm pulling this out of the RFV2:348 thread [1] . Sorry if it's a bit long.

On 03/22/2012 12:16 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:

> Hello,
>
> On 22/03/12 12:52, caller#6 wrote:
>> I guess I don't understand what a "credit" is in this context.
>> Presumably, most releases (of any genre) will give both composer and
>> performer information /somewhere/. Where is the "artist credit"?
> On the release.
>
> Typically, releases on CD have a back cover with a tracklisting.  That
> back cover tracklisting may be a table with columns for the track title
> and artist.  The artist in that column is the credited artist -- the
> role of the artist is unclear, but it is the artist primarily associated
> with the track (so that you can say track X by artist Y).
>
> Similarly, digital retailers tend to have an artist column:
>
> http://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/wagner-das-rheingold/id39110724
>
> The artist credit is the artist primarily associated with a track,
> without specifying the role of the artist.  Classical releases on CD
> tend to not associate artists with tracks in such a crude manner, so I
> would personally prefer it if we had some way to leave artist credits
> empty for those releases which don't have them.
>

On 03/27/2012 01:53 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:
> [snip]
> ... mandatory artist credits seem like a
> flaw in the data model to me.  Either it is indeed a flaw in the data
> model, and we should eventually make them not be mandatory, or my idea
> of what an artist credit is is wrong.
>
> But perhaps this is more a data modelling issue, and not really on topic
> on the style mailing list.


On 03/27/2012 02:41 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:

> [example:]
> https://frob.nl/mb/2012/KECH-1190/booklet01.png
> https://frob.nl/mb/2012/KECH-1190/booklet03.png
>
> These two images are from the booklet of a video game soundtrack.
>
> Tracks 1, 4 and 14 have the "track title by artist" format, track 7 has
> "track title featuring artist" format.  I would say these tracks have
> artist credits, and the remaining tracks only have information which we
> would enter as relationships.
>
> Normally you'd substitute the release artist, but I couldn't find one
> on this release, so the release artist should also be empty.
>
> (my idea of what an artist credit may very well be off compared to what
>   everyone else thinks, but in that case I'm hoping someone can clarify
>   what an artist credit is for me :)

So. Coming from a more descriptivist angle, this is what I've come to
think about artist credits (i.e. the "artist" field for release, rg,
track and recording)

I'm going to skip over recordings for now, and address them in a later
post maybe.

(Exluding recordings) I think the way people intuitively use this field
is much more fuzzy than Warp's definition.

It isn't (IMO) factual data. It's more a sorting aid, like sortname. It
tells me where most people would expect to find a given track/release in
e.g. a (physical) music store or hierarchical filing system. And it
answers the question "what are you listening to?" the way most people
would probably answer.

Examples of what I mean snipped from the CSG thread:

> Example 1:
>      If I'm listening to Nirvana Unplugged, and somebody walks in and
> asks, "hey, what's this?" I'd of course answer "Nirvana". I wouldn't
> think to mention the composer.
>      If I'm listening to Lake of Fire (from the above album) with
> somebody else who already knows it's
> Nirvana, and she asks "hey, what's this?" I'd answer, "It's a Meat
> Puppets song".
>
> Example 2:
>      If I'm listening to Arvo Pärt and somebody walks in and asks, "hey,
> who's this?" I'd answer "Arvo Pärt". I wouldn't think to mention the
> performer initially.
>      If I'm listening to Fratres with somebody else who already knows
> it was composed by Arvo Pärt, and he asks "hey, who's this?" I'd
> answer, "Keith Jarret
> and Gidon Kremer" (the performers)
>
> Same questions, different contexts, two different answers, both "true".
> And this is how I feel "classical" artist fields work. It's the same
> question, but a different context. The artist-specific parts of the CSG
> are simply a recognition of that.

I think that agrees with Warp's formulation ("the artist primarily
associated
with the track"). But of course my approach is often incompatible with
his "as on back cover" approach.

(and, by the way, I'm not against having a field that accurately
captures the back cover... I just don't think that's how people have
historically used this field)

Alex / caller#6


[1]
http://musicbrainz.1054305.n4.nabble.com/RFV2-348-CSG-Recording-Track-Artist-tp4394772p4398534.html


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Re: What exactly is an Artist Credit?

symphonick
2012/3/29 caller#6 <[hidden email]>
I'm pulling this out of the RFV2:348 thread [1] . Sorry if it's a bit long.

On 03/22/2012 12:16 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:
> Hello,
>
> On 22/03/12 12:52, caller#6 wrote:
>> I guess I don't understand what a "credit" is in this context.
>> Presumably, most releases (of any genre) will give both composer and
>> performer information /somewhere/. Where is the "artist credit"?
> On the release.
>
> Typically, releases on CD have a back cover with a tracklisting.  That
> back cover tracklisting may be a table with columns for the track title
> and artist.  The artist in that column is the credited artist -- the
> role of the artist is unclear, but it is the artist primarily associated
> with the track (so that you can say track X by artist Y).
>
> Similarly, digital retailers tend to have an artist column:
>
> http://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/wagner-das-rheingold/id39110724
>
> The artist credit is the artist primarily associated with a track,
> without specifying the role of the artist.  Classical releases on CD
> tend to not associate artists with tracks in such a crude manner, so I
> would personally prefer it if we had some way to leave artist credits
> empty for those releases which don't have them.
>

On 03/27/2012 01:53 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:
> [snip]
> ... mandatory artist credits seem like a
> flaw in the data model to me.  Either it is indeed a flaw in the data
> model, and we should eventually make them not be mandatory, or my idea
> of what an artist credit is is wrong.
>
> But perhaps this is more a data modelling issue, and not really on topic
> on the style mailing list.


On 03/27/2012 02:41 PM, Kuno Woudt wrote:
> [example:]
> https://frob.nl/mb/2012/KECH-1190/booklet01.png
> https://frob.nl/mb/2012/KECH-1190/booklet03.png
>
> These two images are from the booklet of a video game soundtrack.
>
> Tracks 1, 4 and 14 have the "track title by artist" format, track 7 has
> "track title featuring artist" format.  I would say these tracks have
> artist credits, and the remaining tracks only have information which we
> would enter as relationships.
>
> Normally you'd substitute the release artist, but I couldn't find one
> on this release, so the release artist should also be empty.
>
> (my idea of what an artist credit may very well be off compared to what
>   everyone else thinks, but in that case I'm hoping someone can clarify
>   what an artist credit is for me :)

So. Coming from a more descriptivist angle, this is what I've come to
think about artist credits (i.e. the "artist" field for release, rg,
track and recording)

I'm going to skip over recordings for now, and address them in a later
post maybe.

(Exluding recordings) I think the way people intuitively use this field
is much more fuzzy than Warp's definition.

It isn't (IMO) factual data. It's more a sorting aid, like sortname. It
tells me where most people would expect to find a given track/release in
e.g. a (physical) music store or hierarchical filing system. And it
answers the question "what are you listening to?" the way most people
would probably answer.

Examples of what I mean snipped from the CSG thread:
> Example 1:
>      If I'm listening to Nirvana Unplugged, and somebody walks in and
> asks, "hey, what's this?" I'd of course answer "Nirvana". I wouldn't
> think to mention the composer.
>      If I'm listening to Lake of Fire (from the above album) with
> somebody else who already knows it's
> Nirvana, and she asks "hey, what's this?" I'd answer, "It's a Meat
> Puppets song".
>
> Example 2:
>      If I'm listening to Arvo Pärt and somebody walks in and asks, "hey,
> who's this?" I'd answer "Arvo Pärt". I wouldn't think to mention the
> performer initially.
>      If I'm listening to Fratres with somebody else who already knows
> it was composed by Arvo Pärt, and he asks "hey, who's this?" I'd
> answer, "Keith Jarret
> and Gidon Kremer" (the performers)
>
> Same questions, different contexts, two different answers, both "true".
> And this is how I feel "classical" artist fields work. It's the same
> question, but a different context. The artist-specific parts of the CSG
> are simply a recognition of that.

I think that agrees with Warp's formulation ("the artist primarily
associated
with the track"). But of course my approach is often incompatible with
his "as on back cover" approach.

(and, by the way, I'm not against having a field that accurately
captures the back cover... I just don't think that's how people have
historically used this field)

Alex / caller#6


[1]
http://musicbrainz.1054305.n4.nabble.com/RFV2-348-CSG-Recording-Track-Artist-tp4394772p4398534.html

I agree that it's "fuzzy" in the way that it's not really dependant on what's printed in the tracklist or how it's printed.

Example: Queen - Live Magic. 3 tracklists:

Back cover & disc:
1. ONE VISION
2. TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN
3. SEVEN SEAS OF RYE

Booklet:
1. ONE VISION (Queen)
2. TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN (May)
3. SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE (Mercury)

The more detailed tracklist have credits, but we know that this is writer credits so we attribute the tracks to the release artist. We know that Queen is the [performing] artist primarily associated with the track.

For classical music, this concept doesn't work. There is no one "artist" primarily associated with a track. There could be any number of (equally important) performers, performing a song/work by a composer (arguably the most important person in this context).

So anything we put in the track artist field is a workaround. Leaving it empty - if it was possible - would break tagging/scrobbling & webservice (BBC?). I don't think that's an option. We could possibly have the field automatically filled eventually; "composer as track artist" button or something.

/symphonick

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